Denise Ho Wan-see(何韵诗), also known as HOCC (born 10 May 1977), is a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer and actress, as well as a pro-democracy and LGBT rights activist.

Denise Ho was born 10 May 1977 in Hong Kong, to two parents who were both teachers.There, she began her primary school education, at the Diocesan Girls’ Junior School.

At age 11, in 1988, she moved with her parents from Hong Kong to Montreal, Canada. Ho first attended Jean-de-la-Mennais College, an elementary and middle in La Prairie, on the South Shore of Montreal, then attended Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, a Catholic college preparatory secondary school and private college. There, she received a Quebec Diploma of College Studies in Arts and Communications.She then began studies at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), in graphic design.

At age 19, Ho enrolled in a song contest in Hong Kong—the 1996 New Talent Singing Awards—and to her stated surprise, won the competition.

Ho released her first album “First” in 2001, in her fourth year of the contract with Capital Artists.

In 2003, Ho did a “Music is Live” concert with Andy Hui, who is also an apprentice of Anita Mui. Their performance won praise from the critics, and Ho proved to the audience her abilities to perform live as a musician.

In September 2005, Ho performed in the musical Butterfly Lovers (梁祝下世傳奇) as the leading actress, producer and musical director. Her album of the same name gave her three Number 1 singles – “Becoming a Butterfly” (化蝶), “Lawrence and Lewis” (勞斯.萊斯) and “Coffee in a Soda Bottle” (汽水樽裡的咖啡), which are all based on the story of the Butterfly Lovers, with possible homosexual themes. These singles helped her to receive the “Female Singer Silver Award” at the Commercial Radio Hong Kong Annual Awards 2005 (叱吒樂壇流行榜頒獎典禮).

Ho supported the 2014 Hong Kong protests, and a protester herself. On the subject, she stated, “I saw the students rushing in, then the tear gas… There was no option but to stand up. […] My favourite thing about Hong Kong is this moment in time – but it’s also my least favorite. The most beautiful and the ugliest sides of Hong Kong are both happening right here. The Hong Kong spirit of helping each other out is something that was lost for a long time. But that’s making a return. I don’t like the greed, the selfishness, and the indifference some people feel towards what’s happening in society.”

On 5 June 2016, French cosmetics brand Lancôme cancelled a promotional concert by Denise Ho that was scheduled to be held on 19 June in Sheung Wan. This action was taken in response to a boycott campaign launched by the Communist Party-controlled Global Times, which denigrated her for supposedly supporting Hong Kong and Tibet independence.

Lancôme added, in a Facebook post, that Ho is not a spokesperson for the brand.The Tibet allegation appeared to have stemmed from Ho’s May 2016 meeting with the Dalai Lama. The cancellation drew a heavy backlash in Hong Kong. Ho says that citizens’ wish for self-rule ought not to be considered a crime.

Shortly after the Lancôme incident, Ho announced a crowd-sponsorship campaign named “Togetherly Exclusive Sponsorship” for her Hong Kong Coliseum concert “Dear Friend,”, (which was planned to be held in October of the same year), in response to being avoided by corporates. The campaign amazingly drew in near to 300 individual and business sponsors priced at $15k HKD each, which headlined newspapers and generated overall support within the general public. The 4 showings of the concert, a total of 50000 tickets, sold out within two hours.

In 2016 she was chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women.

Edited by staff

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